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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  January 9, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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vietnam? >> okay. well, that is the scary thing. they have no labor standards or environmental standards whatsoever. lori wallach, thank you for joining us tonight on "the ed show." that's "the ed show." i'm eld schultz. "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. good evening, rev. >> good evening, ed. and thanks to you for tuning in. well, tonight's lead stonewall. silence today from david wildstein. he is the at the center of the bridge scandal. he was called to testify in front of a new jersey legislative committee, but said nothing. >> on the advice of my council, i respectfully assert my right to remain silent under the united states and new jersey constitutions. >> and at the same time, this amazing scene was playing out, another amazing scene was
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finishing up in trenton, new jersey. governor christie broke his silence in an extraordinary press conference. he spoke for 1:48 minutes, apologizing to new jersey residents and taking the blame. he announced he fired his deputy chief of staff, the woman who e-mailed mr. wildstein. time for some traffic problems in ft. lee is what her e-mail said. and he announced his former campaign manager won't be taking over as the head of the new jersey republican party as planned. but the governor's bottom line, he had nothing to do with the scandal. >> i am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team. i had no knowledge or involvement in this issue. in its planning or its execution, and i am stunned by
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the abject stupidity that was shown here. i was blindsided yesterday morning. we have nothing to hide. this administration has nothing to hide. >> and over and over the governor talked about how sad he was about the whole situation. >> i'm sad. i'm sad. that's the predominant emotion i feel right now. is sadness. i am heartbroken that someone who i permitted to be in that circle of trust for the last five years betrayed my trust. i'm incredibly disappointed. i don't think i've gotten to the angry stage yet, but i'm sure i'll get there. i'm sad. i'm a sad guy standing here today. and very disappointed. >> a full performance from this governor. but it came at the same time
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christie's former appointee, a man who could give answers, was stonewalling. it came as we learned from an ems coordinator for ft. lee said the traffic affected, quote, the response times and delay of care and treatment to medical and traumatic injury patients within the borough of ft. lee and potentially out of town emergencies. and the governor's press conference came as the u.s. attorney's office announced it's opened an inquiry. other investigations are looming. this afternoon, governor christie met with the mayor of ft. lee, who accepted christie's apologize. christie saying it was a very warm, very productive meeting. but they're there are still so many questions left unanswered. joining me now are msnbc's steve kornacki and krystal ball.
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thank you both for being here. >> thanks for having us, rev. >> now, the question everyone is talking about, let's cut to the chase, do you believe governor christie? steve, you covered new jersey politics for years. was the governor believable today? >> you're right. it was a heck of a performance to go on that long, to be that emphatic the whole time. i mean, my instinct tells me there is an in between, between the idea that he hatched the scheme, was in on it from the beginning and knew all about it, and the idea that he was totally blindsided, didn't have any inkling, anything could have been amiss until yesterday. i think that gray area you call willful ignorance. christie probably put two and two together some time ago. to my mind, you can't as the governor in the face of all the press reports that were out there, all you're getting from the new york side and the port authority, you know, what people in your own administration,
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resignations from within your own team in the port authority, you cannot be suspicious. >> that's the point i want to ask you, krystal. you have two resignations in december. >> right. >> so if you didn't know anything before then, two of your appointees. >> right. >> one you have known since school resigned. don't you find out then what is going on? don't you start really digging down then? don't you go to ft. lee then and see the mayor? i mean, why didn't he dig down then? why did he wait until the e-mails were disclosed or leaked on yesterday? >> right. and i think that's the part that really strains the realm of the plausible, right? we newport authority officials had testified that there was no traffic study. this thing was invented. so even though he still relied on that crutch today, we know there was no traffic study. so christie, the former prosecutor, the tough no nonsense guy, he is not going to get to the bottom of this?
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he is not going to root out the facts in every way that he can? that's the part that really strains believability. i agree with steve. we don't know if he was directly connected. that part i can believe. but it seems pretty clear from the e-mails and the text messages that were released that the people who were acting on his behalf, even if they didn't have direction directly from him thought that this was appropriate. there was a culture that had been created where they thought this was the thing that they should be doing, and that it was an acceptable thing for them to do, given the culture that had obviously created it. >> let's go into the next question. let's dig a little deeper in this. they say it's the deputy chief of staff, bridget ann kelly. the question is did she act alone? did governor christie's former deputy chief of staff do all this by herself? now kelly worked for the governor since 2010. steve, what do you make of this? >> knowing her going back more
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than ten years, really 12 years is when i met her when she was working for an assemblyman from bergen county, i have a very hard time believing that she is the one, this originated with her, that she is the one who gave the order, that she is the mastermind behind this. i think what is interesting -- >> so wait a minute. you're saying as one who actually knows her. >> yeah. >> and you've known her 10 or 12 years. >> when you think of the stereotypes of new jersey political culture, she to me she did not fit them at all. not just me. if you talk to anybody, i think who knew her before her chris christie days, who knew her as an aide to assemblyman dave russo from bergen county, they would tell you if you had gone back in time in 2005 and said this is where bridget kelly is going to be in 2014, they would say that's crazy? >> why? >> it totally does not fit the type of a political payback artist. very intelligent woman, very smart woman, but not a kind of person who is going to think this viciously and think up a
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cutthroat scheme like this and execute it and carry it out. it does not seem in keeping with the woman i knew at all. >> is that credible to you, krystal? because congressman pascrell said the same thing steve saying. he knew her when she worked for this assemblyman, and he says she was not the kind of woman he felt got up in the morning and said let's do some political retribution by jamming traffic. >> i don't know her personally. i certainly trust steve's judgment on this. that's the other piece of this that christie seems not to want to ask. so if it wasn't her, where did this direction come from? if it's not something that she thought up on her own, then where did it come from, who was directing her to do this? >> but i'm even asking you a different question, because i understand that steve knows her. i'm asking you as one that does not know her, is it believable to you that a deputy chief of
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staff would on their own -- >> no. >> -- cook this up. >> no. >> and have the ability to order two appointees in the port authority to execute an independent plan of hers? >> right. well, no, a. but b, if we were to believe that that was the case, i mean, that's a whole other issue that the deputy chief of staff can order lane closures and go about this whole project on her own with no oversight whatsoever. >> i don't know how she does that. >> right. that does not make any kind of sense. >> and steve, you would have to ask yourself, if she picks up the phone, let's take out as we're getting from the governor and she calls her, she e-mails this around, by what authority do the appointees on the port authority take orders from her unless they felt she was speaking for a higher authority? >> that's why -- this is just speaking. if you talk to people in new jersey politics, you'll pick up a lot of suspicion around the name bill steppy. he was the campaign manager.
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all we have in the e-mails that came out, there is no proof of steppian being part of the plan. but he does pop up in the ridicules ridiculing the mayor of ft. lee. he is connected to the e-mails enough for christie to basically toss him aside today. bill steppian's former job, he is a long-time political operative in new jersey. his job before he was chris christie's campaign manager in 2013, he was like the local enforcer for the governor's office. his job is the job that bridget ell kelly has right now. his job is to look around the state, this guy is out of line. in a perfect world this is done ethically. that was his job. so he was operating in that world to begin with where he is looking around the state like people at the mayor of ft. lee. that. >> brings me to the question that is puzzling to me all day. why do it? >> right. >> governor christie says he wasn't expecting this mayor's endorsement. he is a democrat. he claims the guy wasn't even on
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his radar. and the mayor said yesterday he was never asked for the endorsement. so could this be about something else? i mean why do this about a mayor of an opposing party? i mean, why would you have retribution against him? >> and i think that's the piece of this that is so puzzling. christie won in such a landslide anyway. he won ft. lee, as stevie pointed out earlier today. >> ft. lee wasn't exactly the decider of this election. >> well, and it seems so petty, so petty, so small. and especially chris christie, his whole brand is i'm above the fray. i'm a leader. i cut through ah the nonsense and get to the point. it makes him seem very, very small and vindictive, even if his fingerprints are not directly on this. i think it's obvious he has created that culture. >> what is the standout question? >> if you talk to -- if you give
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a republican in new jersey truth serum, they will tell you that this administration, the christie administration has been uniquely hands-on relative at a local level relative to previous governorships. this includes the governor himself. you can talk to republicans who are pretty far down the totem pole politically, people dealing with very sort of microscopic municipal matters, political matters, these sort of things, will have stories. i've heard this over and over, of getting personal calls from the governor. >> right. >> i talked to republicans today who said i'm surprised about this because i thought christie was politically smart and i haven't known what to make of it. he said at the same time i'm not surprised by it because this is an administration, this is a team in many ways that has defined itself by political payback, steve kornacki and krystal ball, thank you both for your time. and watch what's up with steve
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kornacki and krystal ball on the cycle. both are right here on msnbc. coming up, where does this investigation go? what happens next? and will chris christie testify? plus, the guy who shut down the lanes pleads the fifth today. could his silence speak volumes? that's next. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the little room
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will silence speak volumes? today the man responsible for closing the lanes was called to testify in front new jersey state lawmakers. but he took the fifth, refusing to answer questions. >> most recently, where were you employed? >> on the advice of my council, i respectfully assert my right to remain silent under the united states and new jersey constitutions. on the advice of council i again assert my right to remain silent. on the advice of council, i assert my right to remain silent. mr. chairman, on the advice of council, i assert my right to remain silent. >> so why won't he talk? and would he answer questions if granted immunity?
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joining me now are new jersey democrat assembly woman anne -- assembly woman marlene kareedi. she was there in that hearing today. and marjorie o'mara, thanks for being on the show. >> good evening, reverend. >> good evening. thank you very much, reverend. >> let me ask you, what were you hoping to learn from david wildstein today? >> the truth, to be honest with you. we've been hearing so many stories. and in light of the e-mails that were given to us that were by way of the subpoena, the truth would have been nice. but unfortunately, that was not the case. >> here is what governor christie said today about reports that he and david wildstein had been friends since high school. listen to this. >> let me just clear something up, okay, about my childhood friend david wildstein.
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it is true that i met david in 1977 in high school. he is a year older than me. david and i were not friends in high school. we were not even acquaintances in high school. i think some of the stories impute like an emotional relationship and closeness between me and david that doesn't exist. >> assembly woman, does it matter how long he has known wildstein, or does it matter what they did? and are you sold by what the governor said today? do you find him believable? >> reverend, with regards to mr. wildstein and how long he and the governor have been friends or not friends, i think that the governor's actions this morning where he was disassociating himself is really irrelevant, because in the end, he did appoint wildstein to the port authority. so there is some connection between mr. wildstein and the governor.
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was i impressed with the governor's press conference this morning? to be honest with you, coy not see all of it. i was in committee. i did see portions of it. the bottom line here, it's not poor governor christie. it's poor residents of ft. lee and the surrounding residents who for four days were stuck in two and three-hour traffic with no explanation. the apologies, you know, i know that the governor went up to apologize. but it's four months too late. >> now let me ask you, margie, the guy taking the fifth, wildstein, is that what you think the governor wanted? does that help or heart the gorge's claims? >> well, i think for today the governor probably wanted his press conference people -- he stood up there and took questions for a long time. he probably wanted that to be the news story than whatever his
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childhood friend, not childhood friend david wildstein was going to say. i think going forward, it almost doesn't matter who says what, who points the finger at whom, whether everyone's stories are straight. the damage is done. what we know is there was a huge deliberate abuse of power that is not a one-off. it's consistent with years of bullying behavior. and it's consistent what we know about chris christie is that he yells at voters. i'm from new jersey. we may like bravado. but the contempt that the governor shows to regular voters and that his staff showed in those e-mails and through this action to voters, to regular people is a disgrace. and it doesn't fly in new jersey. it's not going to fly in iowa. and it's something that is completely appropriate subject of investigation. >> let me ask you, assembly woman, right now as the story is being told, the deputy chief of staff, she's the one that we're
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being told did this all on her own. she is responsible. she did this. do you buy that? do you believe that story? >> no, i don't. i don't believe that this woman woke up on august 13th and e-mailed mr. wildstein and said let's cause a traffic jam in ft. lee. i believe that this had been coming down from a higher -- from someone else who we hope to find out. but i don't believe that she alone came up with this idea or that she and mr. wildstein came up with this idea to wreak havoc in bergen county in ft. lee, disregard the safety of the citizens of ft. lee and the surrounding towns, and be flip about it. i think that this is something that there is much more to this story. and hopefully we will be able to find out. but no, i don't believe that she came up with this alone.
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however, she did have a hand on it. and her hands are not clean. she is accountable. and she should be held accountable, i should say. >> is your committee intend to call other people, and if so who will you subpoena? the governor? >> well, as our chairman today after the committee hearing stated, we are interested in subpoenaing the individuals that were mentioned in the e-mails and in the text messages and the documents that were supplied to us of which ms. kelly is one. there is mention of mr. steppian. there is also mention of michael druniak as well, who is the governor's press release go-to guy who is spoken of throughout the e-mails as well. so for the time being, those are the individuals that we're looking at. but pending on being able to get
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more documents, especially unredacted documents is very possible that the committee may issue a subpoena to the governor. in his conference today, he did say that he wants to hold the folks accountable. and those folks are coming out of his inner circle in the governor's office. >> well, margie, with that it seems the governor today wanted to end this. it seems as though after hearing the assembly woman, this is far from over. >> yeah. i mean, he gave his staff an hour to look into this before, before the last couple of days. but it's clear that he didn't really want to know the answer. so whether he was involved or he didn't want to know the answer, he waited until it really blew up and he had no choice but to deal with it, and then talks about how sad he is. it doesn't ring true for voters, in part because it's so consistent with what we know about chris christie. and this is -- this is not going to go away there is no silver
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bullet fix to stop this story. he could hold a press conference every day and it would not solve this. it's going to be a problem for a long time. >> assembly woman marlene caride and marge any omera, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you for having me. still ahead, chris christie says he is not a bully. but does his record back that up? and president obama's powerful and personal statement about being rained by a single mom. stay with us.
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had finished his workout and got a call from his communications director stretches the bounds of belief. that's from a paper that endorsed christie in november. they also say that despite today's nearly two-hour briefing, we need a full accounting from the governor himself. they're right. we still need a full accounting from governor christie. we need to know if this was part of a pattern of intimidation in his administration. is he a bully? despite claims to the contrary, that's next. ♪ just pack them in our flat rate box ♪ ♪ we'll come to your door and return them ♪ ♪ gifts you bought but never gave away ♪ ♪ or said you liked but thought were cheesy ♪ ♪ you don't even need to leave your house ♪ ♪ we'll come and take them, easy-peasy ♪ [ female announcer ] no one returns the holidays like the u.s. postal service. with improved priority mail flat rate,
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help prevent your cravings with nicoderm cq. within the past hour governor christie and ft. lee mayor sokolich completed what they called a productive meeting. earlier governor christie made something very clear, he is not a bully. here is what he said today when asked if the bridge scandal
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reveals that he is a bully. >> no, i'm not. listen, kelly, politics ain't beanbag. and everybody in the country who engages in politics knows that. on the other hand, that's very, very different than saying someone is a bully, because i am who i am, but i am not a bully. >> not a bully. of course he is. that's the brand he has created. the no-nonsense tough guy who doesn't take anything from anybody. we've seen him show it time and time again. >> and you know what? and you know what? and you know what? let me tell you this. you know what? it's people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country. >> first off, it's none of your business. i don't ask you where you send your kids to school. don't bother me about where i send mine. >> stay on topic. are you stupid? on topic. on topic.
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thank you all very much and sorry for the idiot over there. >> after you graduate from law school, you can tuck yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, you idiot. >> christie has gotten to be the way he is by portraying himself as a guy who is not afraid to throw some sharp elbows. but his political opponents say there is a darker side to it, a pattern of vindictiveness and petty politics. for example, back in 2011, governor christie accused state senator richard coty of being combative and difficult in blocking two nominees. codey denied that claim. three days later codey was stripped of the state trooper who accompanied him to events. and that same day his cousin who had been appointed to the port authority was fired. codey says it was the christie administration, quote, sending a message. the governor's critics say he use his position to intimidate
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and control those around him. and that's why this new scandal is reviving some serious questions about christie's character and judgment. joining me now is bob engine gal, author of "chris christie: the inside story of his rise to power." and mark hannah, political activist. thank you. >> thank you. >> bob, let me start with you. is the bridge part of a scandal pattern? >> well, it's a part of a pattern of stupid political cricks that aren't the domain of chris christie. i've seen it during my whole career. this one was a little more serious in that there could have been people who were hurt. but, i don't know, he is a rough and tough politician. but he is a new jerseyian. and a lot of new jersey people are in your face.
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>> let me ask you, mark, when you look at christie, today he said the bridge scandal was an isolated incident. watch this. >> this is the exception. it is not the rule of what has happened over the last four queers in this administration. >> how important is that nationally for him to be true? because the reason it is a big story is that he on some polls the front-runner for nomination for president of the united states. >> sure. >> if that is in fact his ambition, how important is it for him to act like this is isolated and get this out of the way? >> it's incredibly important for him to act that way, reverend. the question is it the case that this is an isolated incident? there is no question that people like a rough and tumble politician, that people like a politician who is candid, who speaks, you know, truth to power as unvarnished. if you can mix that with a real strong sense of ethics, a real
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strong sense of virtue in the way you conduct your business, that's a powerful recipe. what is problematic here, this confirms many republicans' worst fears about a christie candidacy. he is perceived as a bully. he is perceived as somebody who is a little bit of a loose cannon. and this adds validation to that perception. and i think it's going to be really tricky for him to win over donors, early supporters in a primary, in a republican primary. so this is a real challenge. he is going to have to get past this. it's unclear how that happens when there is a federal investigation that is about to happen. the inspector general at the port authority is investigating this. i think new stuff is going to come to light. and it will be interesting to see what we're talking about on this front in the days and weeks to come. >> bob, last month, the director of the george washington bridge gave some revealing testimony about the order to close the bridge. watch this. >> my question to you, is the reason you chose not to exercise that discretion is because you
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feared for your employment? >> i was concerned about what mr. wildstein's reaction would be if i did not follow his directive. >> now, doesn't that response, doesn't that response speak volumes to the possible climate and intimidation in the christie administration, bob? >> well, it certainly says something about the climate and the job that he was in. he obviously thought that he had to follow orders no matter what or he would lose his job. at least that's what i read out of it. i don't know that if you went into every agency in state government there would be the same reaction. but obviously this man felt that he had to do what he was told to do or else. >> now, when you look, mark, at a "new york times" story about christie's bullying, 2010 republican state senator sean keen tells a reporter christie
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made a, quote, mistake not calling for an emergency after a snowstorm. the governor called him and warned him not to show up at a news conference in his district. his seat was eliminated in redistricting the following year, and an anonymous administration official said, quote, mr. kean got what he deserved. >> right. >> that's a little heavy-handed, don't you think? >> absolutely. and i was listening to steve on your show earlier. he knows this deputy chief of staff was canned by christie. i'm a democratic analyst, so i'm on the other side of it. they're good people. they're not this kind of bare knuckles new jersey politicians that you think of. so when they start acting this way, when they start intimidating local elected officials, when they start, you know, throwing slurs back and forth with reporters, you have to wonder where this behavior is enkourmgd or at the very least approved by the very, very top. >> bob, we don't know what the governor knew if anything when he knew it. but you wrote the book on his
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rise. >> yes, i did. circumstances this kind of thing in your mind something that is possible or something totally out of character to the chris christie you study? is this something that he -- we have no idea whether he was involved or not, but in your assessment of the person you studied, is he capable of at least knowing and tacitly approving this? >> well, the thing about this that surprised me, it's so darned stupid. and the chris christie that i've covered for well over a decade is not a stupid person. i've turned this over and over in my mind. could he possibly have had a hand in this, because this is so stupid. he had to know this was going to happen sooner or later. i guess anybody is capable of doing that.
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i guess maybe sometimes when you're going to win by overwhelming numbers, you may become a little more arrogant than you should. as you said, we have no proof either way. >> right. >> i was surprised by it. and it was incredibly stupid. >> and i think christie has been very candid with calling voter asking them whether they're stupid. i think in the day's press conference, he called bridget kelly's abject stupidity. so he is very capable of calling other people stupid. it will be interesting to see whether he has a sort of self-reflective self-critical ability to call himself stupid if it comes to light that there was some evidence that he knew or should have known that this -- this has been investigated for two months now, and they said it's a traffic study. he's let's not forget in charge of the port authority as well. so conceivably, he should have known what the nature of this traffic study is. at the very least, it's potentially negligent for him not to have known if it's not
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malfeasance. >> thank you both for your time. >> thanks, reverend. ahead, president obama makes a powerful statement about his personal commitment to fighting inequality. also, republicans know who is really to blame for poverty in america, single moms. so much for the gop trying to show they care about the poor. stay with us. life could be hectic. as a working mom of two young boys angie's list saves me a lot of time. after reading all the reviews
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today president obama announced a new part of his anti-poverty agenda, a program to create jobs and expand education in poor communities across the country. and he talked about it in very personal terms. he referenced one of the students on stage, a young man named roger, who had overcome poverty to become the first in his family to attend college. >> if you want to know why i care about this stuff so much, it's because i'm not that different from roger. there was a period of time in my life where i was goofing off. i was raised by a single mom. i didn't know my dad. the only difference between me and roger is my environment was more forgiving than his. if roger can make it, and if i can make it, if kiara can make it, every kid in this country can make it. but we've got to believe in that.
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we can't just give lip service to it. >> this isn't about politics. it's about people. it's personal. and while this president is speaking passionately about being raised by a single mom, republicans are blaming single mothers for poverty in america. just yesterday congresswoman michele bachmann released a statement saying when government has policies that induce people to either not get married or to bear a child out of wedlock, poverty persists. she's not the only one spouting this nonsense. >> heard this story over and over and over. how as a young girl in high school she was bored with high school and someone suggested, well, why don't you just drop out of high school and have a baby. and then the government will send you a check, and they'll
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send you a check for every baby you have out of wedlock. >> single moms don't deserve to be demonized. and if the gop is serious about fixing provr ining poverty, the change their rhetoric and get their facts straight. joining me now is congresswoman donna edwards, democrat of maryland. thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you, reverend al. i have to tell you, listening to that, listening to my colleagues, i'm really disgusted, especially as a woman who is a single mom who has raised an amazing young man, not just on my own, but with a lot of help. and i just think that those folks have no idea what they're talking about. >> well, i was raised by a single mom. and she could give lessons on family values. they don't know what they're talking about. but, you know, rnc chairman priebus claims that democrats don't actually want the anti-poverty measures they're fighting for. listen to this, congresswoman.
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>> they don't want this to pass, lars. what they want to do is they want to talk about these things. they want to talk about minimum wage and what they want to do ultimately is create a campaign issue, this sort of rich versus poor, the same old thing that they can do and avoid obamacare. that's what they want. >> so we really don't care about inequality. we don't care about poverty and hunger and food stamps and minimum wage. we just don't want to talk about obamacare is what he is saying about those on the other side of this debate. >> well, you know, first of all, reverend al, the fact is that the last time a minimum wage hike passed, it was democrats who did it. and this time raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 is what will lift millions of people out of poverty. and what they clearly don't understand is many of us, i am proud of what we did with the affordable care act, because we
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delivered health care to millions of people, because we know that three million young people up to age 26 can stay on their parents' health plan. i'm proud of what we did. we slowed the growth of medicare in all of our health care in this country for the fourth year in a row. and so we're not running away from that. but what we're saying is that the american people also deserve a fair shot to move into the middle class, to have wages that allow them to take care of themselves and their families. and that government and the federal government has something to do with helping to provide that floor so that people can reach their highest capacity. >> you know, congresswoman, we learned today that for the first time in history, most congressional lawmakers are millionaires. now, we don't begrudge success. but is this why some of your colleagues can't understand the importance of things like unemployment benefits or minimum wage that is not in their reality personally? >> i think it certainly contributes to that i mean, i
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know for example because i've collected an unemployment check that i did that, and i had to show up and prove that i was looking for work, and that in fact i wanted to find work, but unemployment was what tided me over. and i think that what the president demonstrated today, and it's why it was so incredibly powerful is he understands from where he came and he understands what is facing so many young people, so many of our families all across the country. and i heard that in his today, he demonstrated that. and it is why we need to do these things from a government perspective that really does provide an opportunity for everybody to move into the middle class and be successful. >> and you know what is so insensitive to me, congresswoman, is even if you want to make some kind of value judgment or moral judgment on parent, and i don't think you have the right to do that, why do you penalize the child?
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and i think that that is, i mean, children born shouldn't be suffering for the judgment or nonjudgment of their parents. and i don't think you should even be judging their parents. but congresswoman donna edwards, thank you for your time this evening. >> thank you. coming up, gaby giffords spired us again. stay with us. did you run into traffic? no, just had to stop by the house to grab a few things. you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go-- yea, sure ya did. [ male announcer ] introducing at&t digital life. personalized home security and automation. get professionally monitored security for just $29.99 a month. with limited availability in select markets.
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congresswoman gabby giffords has taken a giant leap forward
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in her recovery. she went sky diving in arizona yesterday. three years after being shot in the head at a tucson shopping center. she tweeted this photo. getting a call from vice president biden. >> i tell you what, you've got more spunk, as my mother would say, than the ten best people i know. >> thank you. >> she's still inspiring us and staying positive in her fight for gun control. saying we're not daunted, and we must stay determined. as i remember gabby giffords' fight, it's our fight too. that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom. that talks about protecting, even after eating and drinking. crest pro-health has always done that. and addresses all these other areas as well. take your oral health to a new level.
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philip randolph, groundbreaking scientist george washington carver, and the first american rhodes scholar, dr. aileene leroy locke. it's an organization with a storied past, and the work they do now is just as impressive. joining me now is jonathan mason, the international president of phi beta sigma fraternity. congratulations on this big anniversary. tell the listeners and viewers why phi beta sigma has such staying power over the years, 100 years. >> well, you know, it's truly an exciting day for us. it's our birthday, our 100th birthday. and the seed that our founders planted on the campus of howard university on january 9th, 1914 is still bearing sweet fruit today. here is what a lot of people don't know. these organizations were founded at the same time as the urban league, the naacp, and other civil rights organizations.
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and they were founded for the very purpose of social justice, equal rights, and freedom for all people. so that's what we've been doing for 100 years. our motto says it. culture for service, and service for humanity. >> what about the countless numbers of young black men that have given to streetlight, that have given to negative behavior have in many ways fed boo the stereotype that many have had. how do you reach them? how do we save them? >> that is a major issue for us. we have invested our dollars. we send our members out into the community to serve as mentors, to serve as life coaches, to serve as counselors. and the success stories that we have of finding young men, mentoring them, and moving them through the ranks of high school and college, it's countless. we give over seven figures a year in scholarship. and here is the thing, reverend. it's not just about getting them
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in college, but lot of those students encounter challenges when they're in school. so we also give money to them when they're in school to make sure they can finish that degree. >> it's a big celebration and a big continuation. happy birthday. jonathan mason, thank you for your time tonight. and congratulations again on the big anniversary. >> thank you so much, reverend sharpton. and we did want to present you with something if you've got two seconds. since you're our honorary member, you didn't mention your name. we had a jacket made for you that we want to give to you. and i believe it's in your size. we need you to sport this on msnbc. >> all right. well, i will -- if it's in my size, it's leather too. >> yes, sir. thank you so much, reverend. thank you so much. >> congrats again to phi beta sigma celebrating 100 years of service, and here is to 100 more. there is a saying what will it matter 100 years from now? well, those men and founders
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answer that question. 100 years later, they're still giving service. 100 years from now, will the things we're involved in continue to matter? let's hope so. let's think about it. let's be committed to it. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. bridge over troubled waters. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight where governor christie left off today. i want you, the people watching right now and the people involved in this escapade to answer some common sense questions. call them the smell test. did governor christie truly believe that the four days of long traffic backups at the george washington bridge last september were caused by a research


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